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Auto Enrolment Communications

As part of their new statutory duties, employers are required to ensure that the correct information is provided to the various categories of worker in the required time frame. It is the employers responsibility to ensure all relevant information has been collected beforehand and can be passed on to the trustees or managers of the qualifying scheme.

Typical Information to be provided to the qualifying scheme:-Work Place pension required Communication

  • Name
  • Sex
  • Date of Birth
  • Automatic enrolment date
  • Residential Address
  • National Insurance number
  • Workplace address
  • Work email
  • Gross earnings in any pay reference period.
  • The value of employer and member contributions in an pay reference period

This information must be provided within a period known as the joining window which is a period of one month commencing on the automatic enrolment date.

Information to be provided to an eligible job holder:-

This information can be provided with a postponement notice which will mean that it must be issued one month of the staging date; the date of the workers employment; the date the worker first became an eligible job holder or within a month of the staging date.

The information can be provided by third parties but must include:-

  • Confirmation that the eligible jobholder has been automatically enrolled into a pension scheme
  • Contact details for the pension scheme
  • The date the enrolment took place
  • The value of the employer and member contributions in a pay period
  • In the case of a DC scheme an explanation of phasing.
  • Confirmation of the way the deductions will take place
  • Confirmation of the way tax relief is to be applied.
  • Confirmation the employers has a duty to enrol the eligible jobholder into an alternative scheme were the current one to be terminated.
  • A statement that they may opt out during the statutory opt out period.
  • When the opt out period begins and ends
  • If the opt out period cannot be confirmed then a statement stating it will meet auto enrolment guidelines.
  • Where they may obtain an opt out notice
  • Confirmation that following opt out confirmation that they have not joined the scheme
  • Confirmation that following opt out all contributions will be refunded.
  • Confirmation that once opted out they will have the option to opt back in at least once in in any given 12 month period.
  • Confirmation that written notice from the worker must be in writing and signed (electronic is acceptable).
  • Confirmation the opt out contributions will cease
  • Confirmation that following opt out they will be re-enrolled approximately 3 years later in accordance with the pension act 2008
  • Where they can find further information concerning retirement saving.

Information to be provide to non-eligible Jobholders is as follows:-

  • They have the statutory right to opt in
  • They have the statutory right to an employer contribution
  • A statement that further information can be found on the gov.uk website
  • Guidance on who to contact concerning joining the scheme, including a statement confirming that any application must be in writing and signed by the applicant.

Information to be provided to current pensions scheme members are as follows:-

  • Confirmation that they are unaffected by the changes introduced by auto enrolment
  • Confirmation that they are already members of a qualifying scheme
  • A statement that further information may be found at the gov.uk website
  • Confirmation that in the case of new members who are eligible job holders the employer must maintain their membership of the qualifying scheme.
  • Confirmation that in the case of those members who are eligible job holders the employer would be required to enrol them automatically into another qualifying scheme should the current arrangement be terminated.

Information to be provided to the job holder when the qualifying scheme is a contract based arrangement is as follows:-

In the case of an occupations scheme it is important to advise the trustees when the active service commence especially with a DB scheme where member benefits accrue immediately

If a contract based scheme is used the provider will need to issue a key features document. The following information must also be provided to an eligible job holder:-

  • The purpose of the pension scheme
  • The services to be provided by the provider.
  • The value of the contributions made by the eligible job holder
  • The charges paid to the pension provider
  • Information about the scheme default fund.

Deductions and contributions

It is the employers responsibility to ensure the correct deductions are made.

Time limits

Contributions must be made within 19 days after the end of the month in which member contributions were deducted (22 days in the case of electronic payments). The one exception is the amounts between enrolments and opt out. This must be paid no later than the end of the second month following the month of automatic enrolment.

Triennial re-enrolment

This has serious implications for workers who have benefits that are subject to primary or enhanced protection or fixed protection. This is the responsibility of the individual to be aware of this.

Record keeping

The following information must be kept for 6 years (4 years in the case of opt outs).

  • Name
  • NI Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Gross qualifying earnings
  • Contributions paid during each reference period
  • Date of payment of contributions
  • Automatic enrolment date
  • Opt in notice
  • Rate of contributions
  • Opt out notice
  • Date active service commenced
  • Joining notice.

In the event of postponement

  • Date of postponement notice was sent along with their name and NI number.

For contract based schemes the following information is required to be kept:-

  • Pension scheme tax reference number
  • Name and address of the pension provider
  • Overseas schemes must identify the foreign regulator.

There is a statutory requirement for the pension scheme to keep the following information:-

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Sex
  • Residential Address
  • Date active membership commenced
  • Dare active membership ceased.
  • Current member status.

In the case of opt out a record of the opt out notice and the members full name must be kept for 4 years.